(Clearwisdom.net) Protests are taking place outside Chinese embassies and consulates around the world after the Hong Kong government effectively forced Shen Yun Performing Arts to cancel its upcoming shows there.
Last week, the Hong Kong Immigration Department denied entry visas to seven of Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company's key production staff. The last-minute denials came less than a week before the sold-out shows were set to begin.
Shen Yun supporters in Ottawa, Toronto in Canada and in New Zealand have held rallies to condemn the Hong Kong government caving in to the Chinese Communist regime and sabotaging Shen Yun performances in Hong Kong. The supporters all hope that Shen Yun Performing Arts will be able to perform in Hong Kong in the near future.
Protest by Shen Yun supporters in Ottawa outside the Chinese Embassy on January 24, 2010
Ms. Hou Wenzhuo, visiting professor at the University of Ottawa, renowned Chinese human rights activist, expressed indignance and condemned the Hong Kong government's denial of entry visas to Shen Yun's key production staff. She hopes the Hong Kong government will change its decision. She said "The Hong Kong government action has violated the Hong Kong people's right to art appreciation," and she encouraged the Hong Kong people to "stand up to urge the government to undo the mistake."
Ms. Zhi Jing, one of the promoters of Shen Yun shows in Ottawa said that Shen Yun Performing Arts played to a packed theater in Ottawa. In Hong Kong, tickets for seven shows were sold out in five days. The Hong Kong government is clear that performers and production staff of the company are integral to the performances. The Hong Kong government's denial of entry visas to key production staff sabotages the Shen Yun show in Hong Kong.
Ms. Zhi Jing said, "We support the Hong Kong people to take this opportunity to strive for their freedom to see the Shen Yun performance."
Mr. Shi Xingjian, a pro-democracy activist said, "It's a loss for those who have bought tickets and waited for the show. It's unfair." "For normal commercial performances, cultural exchange, with the pretext of one country, two systems, the Hong Kong government should not follow the Chinese Communist regime's orders."
Ottawa artist Kathy Gillis said in an interview that the world is watching Hong Kong, and it is a shame that the Chinese Communist regime did such a thing behind-the-scenes. She said that she felt sorry for the Hong Kong people, but she believed that they will one day see the Shen Yun performances.
People from all walks of life gather outside the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand to protest the Hong Kong government's denial of entry visas for Shen Yun production staff on January 25, 2010
Mr. Gore, legal representative for The Epoch Times, said that Shen Yun Performing Arts applied for visas over three months ago, but the Hong Kong government refused entry visas to six key production staff of the company three days prior to the show. The Hong Kong government's intentional decision had the effect of stopping Shen Yun Performing Arts from performing in Hong Kong. Its decision shows that they are in line with the Chinese Communist regime's cultural censorship. Shen Yun Performing Arts was scheduled to play seven shows in Hong Kong, and tickets were sold out in five days. It shows how Shen Yun is welcome in Hong Kong. The Chinese Communist regime's manipulation turns the Hong Kong government itself into a victim, too. Such a way of doing things is also damaging to the free and democratic system.
Mr. Yu Jingfang, representative of the Falun Dafa Association
Mr. Yu Jingfang said, "Culture is the soul of a nation. Shen Yun Performing Arts promotes profound traditional Chinese culture. The Chinese Communist regime's sabotage of Shen Yun Performing Arts' performances in Hong Kong and other countries is destroying the future of China."
"We protest the Chinese Communist regime's despicable deeds. The regime's act helps the world see clearly its evil nature."
Toronto people hold a rally outside the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office on January 25, 2010
Mr. Zhang Zhaojin, coordinator of the Toronto Falun Dafa Association and one of the organizers for local Shen Yun performances, addressed the rally. He said that Shen Yun performances have been popular with people of different nationalities in Canada. In recent years, Toronto has hosted two runs of Shen Yun performances each year. "As an organizer, the Toronto Falun Dafa Association receives enthusiastic audience requests for additional shows each time Shen Yun comes to town. We are proud to invite Shen Yun Performing Arts to come to perform."
"We are unwilling to see that the Hong Kong audience is deprived of the right to attend Shen Yun performances. This incident hurts the Hong Kong people's freedom and legitimate rights and interests. We hope the Hong Kong government will undo this wrong decision soon."
A Hong Kong immigrant in Toronto said that the Hong Kong government's denial of entry visas to key production staff of Shen Yun Performing Arts is unacceptable. He said, "I've seen Shen Yun performances several times, and they touched my heart. Shen Yun carries forward traditional Chinese culture, and helps to uplift one's moral standard. It's a great thing to bring such a wonderful traditional Chinese culture to the Hong Kong residents." He thought that the Hong Kong people should strive for their rights and freedom, and stand up to tell the government that it's wrong to do this. Another protester, Mr. Liu is also Hong Kong immigrant. He said he felt sorry for the Hong Kong people, because people in other places can see Shen Yun, but it cannot be put on in Hong Kong. Mr. Liu believes that the Hong Kong people can strive for freedom for themselves.